GPs are used to dealing with the politics of health, from the cost shifting which sees patients discharged with scripts they cannot afford to fill through to the regulations around ordering MRIs (to name but two). Clearly, political decisions impact our delivery of primary health care. So it should not be surprising that health practitioners may wish to influence policies on a scale broader than just dealing with health care delivery, widening our perspective to look at the social and environmental determinants of health.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) arose as a branch of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE), founded in 1990 and now having member organisations in over 30 countries.

The Swiss cheese model of accident causation

Imagine a perfect work day in healthcare. You were part of a motivated and well-functioning team. Patient care had been the best you could all deliver. Conversations with other healthcare workers were respectful and helpful. You had the chance to demonstrate both your leadership and follower skills and were able share your ideas and sense of humour.

Your managers had granted you the autonomy to organize your own practice areas and workflow. You felt supported by your colleagues and enjoyed a sense of job security and mental well-being. You felt empowered to call out bad or concerning behaviours and knew that any serious adverse events would be investigated by a team with expertise in human factors.

Love me, tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfilled.
For my darlin' I love you, and I always will.
Love Me Tender, Cinemascope Films, 1956

Two of the North Coast Primary Health Network’s tenders for the delivery or services to North Coast GPs and their patients have closed in the last month

The first contract is for an organisation, or organisations, to provide educational services to primary care practitioners from the Tweed to Port Macquarie. These services are directed at medical practitioners, nurses, allied health practitioners and pharmacy and focus on the NCPHN’s target areas for the next triennium.

The Hannah Cabinet Video
Director Ross Bray; cinematographer Steve Munro

As part of the promotion to raise funds for the retention of the Hannah Cabinet in Lismore (see adjoining page) local filmmaker Ross Bray and cinematographer Steve Munro have produced a 30 minute film on the cabinet and its maker Geoff Hannah.

The film produced by local business owners Brian Henry and Gaela Hurford  covers Geoff’s upbringing and family life and his early courting of his wife Rhonda since first meeting in their teenage years. Geoff tells of how he started in woodwork with local firm Brown and Jolly’s where he developed a love for his craft.

Rotary Park, a globally unique dry rainforest remnant, is culturally and spiritually significant for the Widjabal Wiyabal people of the Bundjalung Nation. One of only two urban rainforest remnants in NSW, the park’s circular walking track was opened in 1988 after substantial efforts by Lismore City Council and bush regenerators, led by Rosemary Joseph, to rid the rainforest of invasive weeds. This work is ongoing.

In September 2005 Lismore’s flying fox camp relocated from the riverbank at Currie Park, near the Lismore Racecourse, to Rotary Park where the camp remains today, protected from extreme winds, and at times extreme heat, by the parks unique microclimate created by the gully, creek and the tall trees. Scientific studies reveal that flying foxes’ preferred roosting habitat is where there are emergent trees, patches of dense foliage and an understorey.